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Home appraisal’s ugly history and uncertain future

This is Part I of a deep dive into the home appraisal industry. Today we explore the origins of the appraisal industry and its current lack of diversity.

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Real Estate

Compass rolls out virtual real estate tools as coronavirus restricts home shopping

Includes virtual open houses and interactive home tours

With more cities and states essentially shutting down in an effort to control the spread of the coronavirus, it’s becoming increasingly difficult and potentially unsafe for people who want to buy or sell a home.

As evidence of that, several of the biggest real estate companies in the U.S. recently reported a rise in the number of requests for virtual home showings.

And it’s in that spirit that Compass, the nation’s fastest-growing real estate brokerage, is rolling out a series of tools for its agents that will allow for virtual showings, virtual open houses, digitally enhanced home listings and more.

The program, called Virtual Agent Services, is being rolled out to Compass agents this week.

As part of the program, Compass agents will be able to offer the following options as part of the showing experience (details courtesy of Compass):

  • Virtual Open Houses. Showcase the key features of your property to interested clientele wherever they are by taking them on a digital journey through your premier properties using a dynamic, agent-guided video promoted via digital, mobile and social channels.
  • Interactive Home Tours. Personally take each buyer on a virtual journey through a home, expounding on its unique features as if you were walking alongside them. Buyers can easily provide feedback (on their own time) via live video, text, or emoticons that are shared with agents and sellers.
  • Virtual Neighborhood Walks. Let buyers and their families see everything a community has to offer by taking them on a virtual jog past the neighborhood schools, a GoPro bike tour of the adjacent streets or even a stroll to the nearest shops — with a normal video or a 360-degree neighborhood video showcase.
  • Dynamic Digital Listing Brochures. Create a dynamic, immersive experience with turnable pages and playable videos that will entice even the most discerning of buyers — and then analyze the user data and real-time engagement to provide your sellers actionable insights to attract more buyers faster.

And on the marketing front, agents will have several new options, including:

  • Enhanced 3D Staging. Combine high-end design and state-of-the-art virtual staging technology to create a custom-built, upscale virtual experience that captures each home’s unique essence and beauty.
  • Live Postcards. Preview a home’s most attractive features before it hits the market in an “animated travel postcard” style, powered by the Compass CRM platform.
  • Facebook Live Buyer Events. Entertain people stuck at home while helping them imagine the life they could lead in a new home by hosting a fun live event like a virtual cooking demo, a solo musical performance, or a fireside chat with the home as your cinematic backdrop, streamed via Facebook Live or Instagram Live.
  • Location-based Mobile Listing Ads. While people are spending more time on screens than ever, geo-target your mobile ad campaign to reach buyers through the apps they’re using daily based on their spending power, behaviors and lifestyle and then retarget them on their desktops or laptops.
  • Video Mail — Share personal videos with your connections that will draw them in immediately by autoplaying with the sound off (until they click) right inside their inbox.

The rollout of the virtual tools comes one week after Compass laid off approximately 15% of its 2,500 employees as the company worked to limit the impact of the economic slowdown on its business.

The company also scaled back Compass Concierge, a service where the company fronts the cost of home improvement services to a home seller, by 80%.

But now, the company is seeking attract customers with its technology tools instead.

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